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Brazil: Covid-19 pandemic shrinks footwear exports

Jun 4, 2020 Brazil
Brazil: Covid-19 pandemic shrinks footwear exports
The Brazilian Footwear Industries Association (Abicalçados) believes the COVID-19 pandemic played an essential role in the decline registered in footwear exports during the first four months of the year
According to data prepared by Abicalçados, in April 4.84 million pairs of footwear were exported with a global value of 30.3 million US dollars, a 40% decrease in volume and a 60.8% decrease in value, compared to April 2019. With such performance, exports in the first four months of the year totaled 36.87 million pairs and 271.2 million US dollars, a 14.4% decrease in volume and a 21% decrease in revenue, compared to similar period in 2019.

Abicalçados' Executive President, Haroldo Ferreira, believes the situation is explained by the crisis caused by the diffusion of Covid-19, especially in the United States, the main destination market for Brazilian shoes. Between January and April, Americans imported 3.1 million pairs and payed 51.32 million US dollars, a 35.4% decrease in volume and a 26.7% decrease in value, compared to similar period in 2019. The second-largest international buyer during the four months was Argentina, to where 2.68 million pairs were shipped, generating 28 million US dollars in revenue, a 7.4% increase in volume and a 10.6% decrease in revenue.  France ranked third and in the first four months of the year, the country imported 2.5 million pairs of Brazilian shoes, for which USD 16.16 million were paid, 18.3% and 13.3% decreases, respectively.

Lost Jobs

Recently published numbers by Abicalçados based on their weekly survey, indicate that the Brazilian footwear industry has already lost more than 35 thousand jobs, which corresponds to 13% of the sector's workforce (269 thousand registered jobs in December 2019).


Impact on Production

In the first four months of the year, production has already accumulated a 27.6% drop. “We have no demand; we have no new orders. Now, with retail reopening, even with restrictions, in some centers, we expect the wheel to start spinning again. In any case, it will not be an immediate recovery, since many store owners have stocks”, commented Haroldo Ferreira, concluding: “Last year, production reached 908 million pairs. In 2020, production should plummet 30%, with a direct impact on employment”.

Image credits: Max Williams on Unsplash

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